CTVA Profile - Director - John English

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Director -  John English

THE WORD THAT COMES TO MIND THAT BEST DESCRIBES DIRECTOR JOHN ENGLISH,
IS IMPRESSIVE. HIS BEGINNING IN THE FILM BUSINESS BEGAN AS A FILM EDITOR
IN 1926 AND CONTINUED UNTIL 1936. DURING THOSE YEARS HE USED THE NAME OF
JACK ENGLISH. THE TYPE OF FILM FEATURES HE WORKED ON RANGED FROM COMEDY
TO WESTERNS. HIS FIRST FILM AS A DIRECTOR BEGAN IN 1935 AT A LOW-BUDGET
STUDIO NAMED 'AMBASSADOR PICTURES'. THE FILM WAS ENTITLED,
"THE RED BLOOD OF COURAGE(1935),
FOLLOWED BY THREE OTHER FILMS ENDING IN 1937.

JOHN HAD A FRIEND, WHO AT THE TIME, WAS WORKING AT MASCOT STUDIOS, LATER
CONSOLIDATED INTO REPUBLIC PICTURES. HIS NAME, WILLIAM WITNEY. REPUBLIC WAS
PLANNING TO DO A LARGE NUMBER OF 'CLIFF HANGER' SERIALS, SO BILL WITNEY ASKED
HIS FRIEND JOHN ENGLISH, WHO HE ALWAYS REFERRED TO AS 'JACK', IF HE WOULD BE
INTERESTED IN WORKING WITH HIM AS A TEAM ON THE CHAPTER PLAYS. JOHN SAID YES,
AND THUS BEGAN THE CAREER'S OF TWO OF THE BEST SERIAL DIRECTORS IN THE BUSINESS.

THEIR FIRST PROJECT WAS
"ZORRO RIDES AGAIN"(1937),
THAT SHOWCASED THE MAGNIFICENT STUNT WORK OF YAKIMA CANUTT, FOLLOWED BY,
"THE LONE RANGER"(1938),
"DICK TRACY RETURNS"(1938),
"DAREDEVILS OF THE RED CIRCLE" (1939),
"ZORRO'S FIGHTING LEGION"(1939),
"ADVENTURES OF RED RYDER"(1940),
"KING OF THE ROYAL MOUNTED"(1940),
"ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN MARVEL"(1941),
A LIST TOTALING SOME 19 SERIAL FEATURES. JOHN DID DIRECT SOME ON
HIS OWN. THE ONE CONSIDERED TO BE THE MOST ACTION-PACKED WAS,
"DAREDEVILS OF THE WEST"(1943), STARRING ALAN 'ROCKY' LANE.


IN BETWEEN SERIALS, JOHN ENGLISH WAS BUSY TURNING OUT B-WESTERN AND
DRAMA FEATURES ALSO FOR REPUBLIC PICTURES UNTIL 1947. SOME OF THE ENTRIES
INCLUDED GENE AUTRY OATERS. BUT IN 1947, GENE AUTRY LEFT REPUBLIC PICTURES
TO FORM HIS OWN PRODUCTION COMPANY TOGETHER WITH COLUMBIA PICTURES.
DIRECTOR JOHN ENGLISH FOLLOWED AND HELMED SOME 18 WESTERNS FOR GENE,
LASTING FROM 1947-1951.


JOHN'S FIRST TV SERIES WAS, "THE GENE AUTRY SHOW'(1950-1956), THUS
BEGAN HIS BUSIEST AND PRODUCTIVE START AS A TV DIRECTOR. OVER THE YEARS
HIS CREDITS BEGAN TO GROW WITH THE LIKE'S OF:
"ADVENTURES OF KIT CARSON (1951-1955),
"CITY DETECTIVE" (1953-1955),
"LASSIE"(1954-1974),
"BUFFALO BILL,JR. (1955-1956),
"SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE"(1955-1957),
"STATE TROOPER"(1956-1959),
"ZANE GREY THEATER"(1956-1961),
"WAGON TRAIN"(1957-1965),
"JOHNNY RINGO"(1959-1960),
"THRILLER"(1960-1962),
"THE VIRGINIAN"(1962-1971),
"DANIEL BOONE"(1964-1970),
"LAREDO"(1967-1967).

AFTER WORKING ON THE "LAREDO" SERIES, JOHN ENGLISH DECIDED IT WAS TIME
TO QUIT, THUS ENDING ONE OF THE MOST IMPRESSIVE CAREER'S IN THE WORLD
OF FILM MAKING.

Sal Crisanti <crisanti52@netscape.net>

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